We woke up to sad news this morning as reports spread from England that actor David Prowse had died overnight at the age of 85. Prowse is best known for his role as Darth Vadar in the original Star Wars trilogy. While James Earl Jones provided the character’s voice, Prowse portrayed the physical character in the films. His imposing size (6’6’’) and intimidating mannerisms elevated the classic villain to legendary status.
There have been rumors of bad blood between Star Wars creator George Lucas and the late actor for decades. This alleged rift was the subject of the 2015 documentary “I Am Your Father.” The film followed Prowse’s life and career and focused on his post-Star Wars fame among the Star Wars fandom. While Lucas has never officially commented on their relationship, Prowse believed the falling out stemmed primarily from Lucas’s belief that Prowse leaked Return of the Jedi script details to the press prior to the film’s release.
Following Prowse’s death George Lucas released the followings statement: “David brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character. He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence. David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace.”
Co-star Mark Hamill released the following statement on Twitter: “So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He loved his fans as much as they loved him.”
David Prowse was survived by his wife Norma and their three children.